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  • Writer's pictureTracy Spiaggia

What's God Got To Do With My Health? {Exercise}

Hello again and welcome back to the series in which we are exploring the intersection of God and all of the lifestyle areas that make up our lives. So far, we've looked at Thought Life, Diet, and Sleep. Truly these, plus today's topic of Physical Activity, make up the physical foundation of health and wellbeing. Without any one of these areas being lived well, we are bound to suffer myriad symptoms of dis-ease.

There is no question that moving our bodies in an intentional and rigorous way on a near-daily basis is a non-negotiable to feeling well. I doubt any one of you would dispute this. There are, however, some interesting factoids that I'll share to help further expand your understanding of why movement is so critical to our health. I'll touch on just a couple of interesting and applicable points.

First, did you know that the number of fat cells we have is largely determined by the time we turn 18 years old? That means maintaining a healthy weight in childhood is super important and can be a predictor of weight management as an adult. The more fat cells we have, the more fat we can store. And the more fat we can store, the more toxic we can be (because toxins are largely stored in our fat cells). If a child is overweight, s/he will have to work harder as an adult to keep her/his fat cells lean because there are more of them. Think of them like storage units. The more bins you have, the more stuff you can potentially store in them. You'd have to be a true minimalist to keep all of those bins only moderately filled. But, if you have less bins, you'd be able to store less stuff, making minimalist living an easier feat. Follow?

Another interesting fact is that rigorous movement is beneficial for the transport of nutrients into the cells. In other words, if you ate a healthy diet but did not exercise much, you'd enjoy less nutrients from your food than if you did exercise. You see, we are holistic beings meant to exist in rhythms and patterns. We operate synergistically, meaning all systems depend upon one another to reach their full potential. Not sleeping well leads to low energy and high stress which leads to damage to the digestive tract which leads to compromised nutrient absorption which leads to fatigue and a weakened immune system - and the hamster wheel keeps spinning. All systems hinge and rely on one another, so living in alignment with your design will help you feel your best.

God has much to say about being active and productive.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

– Romans 12:1

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

– 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

– Proverbs 31:17

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

-Proverbs 6:9-11

Yikes! Some of these are very convicting. But, as all scripture, it's for our good; to spur us on to our best lives.

As you can see, these four lifestyle areas really do make up the foundation upon which we'll build the rest of our lives. Without our physical health, we can do little because so much of our attention is concentrated on our symptoms. This is, in part, why two-thirds of Jesus's ministry was physical healing. We are fragile. We are prone to be self-focused, especially when we are sick. Once healthy, we can stop ruminating over our pain, elevate higher and serve others. That's at the very heart of God. Jesus helped remove the obstacle of physical sickness so He could then reach the soul. Consider partnering with me to help remove your obstacle of lifestyle-related symptoms so you can finally be free.

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